Reporting to Campus
Visa & Immigration Services
Visa & Immigration Services provides advice and assistance to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and visiting scholars on matters related to studying and living in the United States. These matters include immigration, employment, taxes, financial management, and a wide variety of cross-cultural issues. We provide informational and social programs for new and continuing international students on a regular basis.
Our Visa & Immigration Services staff members have lived, worked and studied in many different countries, including Australia, Austria, Barbados, Benin, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Jamaica, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and U.S. Virgin Islands, and have many years of experience in international education. Each year we look forward to welcoming new students to Stony Brook and are eager to help you adjust to American culture.
Visa & Immigration Services staff members are familiar with questions and concerns of international students and the U.S. system of education, and are available to help you prior to arrival and throughout your stay at Stony Brook University. Our orientation program is designed to help familiarize you with aspects of U.S. education and culture and provide you with specific information about study at Stony Brook University. We will also inform you of U.S. immigration regulations that you will need to know for maintaining your immigration status. Orientation allows time to get to know your Visa & Immigration Services Advisers, make new friends and overcome jet-lag before school starts.
REPORTING TO VISA & IMMIGRATION SERVICES
Federal immigration regulations require that the University maintain accurate information regarding F-1 and J-1 students studying at Stony Brook. All new F-1 and J-1 students meet with a Visa & Immigration Services Adviser for “check-in” and an “intake” interview within 30 days of arrival in the United States. The Visa & Immigration Services office must report required information to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Your Visa & Immigration Services adviser will meet with you regularly throughout your stay in the U.S.
All individuals in F-1 and J-1 immigration status based on Form I-20 or DS-2019 issued by Stony Brook must check-in with the Visa & Immigration Services office.
If you arrive before check-in day, please come to the Visa & Immigration Services office to meet with an adviser during our regular business hours, generally Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. An Visa & Immigration Services Adviser will confirm your arrival in the federal SEVIS electronic database through an “intake interview” process. We are located in The Graduate School, 2401 Computer Science Building, on the West campus.
It is essential that J-1 students check-in and complete their intake interviews within 30 days of entry into the United States or the start date on Form DS-2019 – whichever is soonest – or the SEVIS record automatically “terminates,” as the federal tracking system will not reflect that you’ve reported to the school. This is a very serious violation and it can be very difficult or impossible to correct.
It is essential that F-1 students check-in and complete their intake interviews within 30 days of entry to the United States or the SEVIS federal tracking system will not reflect that you’ve reported to the school. This is a very serious violation and can be very difficult or impossible to correct. F-1 transfer students must check-in and complete the intake interview within 15 days of the start of classes.
To check-in with Visa & Immigration Services, please visit our office. We will confirm your arrival at Stony
Brook University and answer any questions you may have. Many students will have their intake
interview at check-in, but time constraints will limit the number of student
intake interviews that can be completed that day.
All new and transfer international students will see an Visa & Immigration Services Adviser for an initial “intake interview” at the beginning of their first semester at Stony Brook. This allows us to review you original immigration documents, collect photocopies for our records, and document your arrival in SEVIS.
You will need to bring the following original documents to the intake interview, as well as a photocopy of each:
- Form I-94 (copy front and back)
- Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 (stamped at port of entry).
- If transferring, copies of all Forms I-20 or DS-2019 issued on your behalf
- Your complete local residential address, even if temporary
- Contact information for an immediate family member that we could use in case of an emergency
Transfer students must report to Visa & Immigration Services for an interview within 15 days of the first day of classes. When the intake interview process is completed, a “block” is lifted from the University database, allowing registration.
Orientation programs play a crucial role in the transition to life in a new environment and cultural setting. These programs have been carefully planned to help you succeed at Stony Brook University. Attendance is mandatory, so plan to be on campus every day of the orientation week.
You are required to attend the entire orientation program for international students, even if you are transferring from another school in the United States or if you have attended Stony Brook University in a different immigration status in the past. You are also required to attend the Freshmen and Transfer Undergraduate Student orientation as appropriate.
Note: You must obtain permission from Visa & Immigration Services to arrive after the first day of orientation since a new or updated SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019 may be required for entry into the United States. Students who cannot arrive by the reporting date should contact Visa & Immigration Services to obtain permission for a later arrival date. If you must request permission for late arrival, e-mail Visa & Immigration Services at Stony Brook as soon as possible: firstname.lastname@example.org Write, “Late arrival” and your full name in the subject line. In your message, include the reason you will need to arrive after orientation begins, and the date that you expect to be able to arrive. If you cannot arrive on time for orientation, we may recommend that your admission be deferred to next semester.
After arrival, you should make copies of all travel documents and keep them in a safe place, separate from the originals. The documents to be photocopied for safekeeping include:
- Passport identification page (your picture, the passport number, and personal information)
- Passport page with expiration date of passport
- Both sides of the Form I-94
- SEVIS Form I-20 or Form DS-2019
Remember to keep the original Form I-94 card and all Forms I-20 or DS-2019 with your passport while you are in the United States. While your visa stamp allowed you to enter the United States, the valid passport, Form I-94 and Form I-20 or DS-2019 are the physical evidence used to determine that you are allowed to remain in the United States.
In the event any of these documents are lost or stolen, you will need to file a police report. If the documents are not recovered promptly, you will need to replace them. Contact your embassy to request a new passport. Meet with a Visa & Immigration Services Adviser to request a replacement Form I-20 or DS-2019; you will need to provide a copy of the police report for our records. We will help you apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to replace the Form I-94. The replacement fee is currently $320.